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How do I get an in-person hearing in Georgia Unemployment Appeal Georgia

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  • How do I get an in-person hearing in Georgia Unemployment Appeal Georgia

    I am about to appeal unemployment denial.
    I know I should say as little as possible and basically just request an appeal because I disagree with the decision. But, is there anything I need to say? Do I need to say anything about the situation at all or just ask for the appeal? Do I go into any detail at this point or should I just ask for an appeal?
    I prefer having the hearing in-person, because when they did the original phone interview to see if I qualified for unemployment, I got lost. The information (lies) was overwhelming. The girl talked so fast and I couldn't understand her because of an accent. I have difficulty hearing on the phone, anyway. Can I request the hearing be in-person? I've read the handbook GADOL provides. It doesn't say what determines in-person or phone. How do I get them to make it an in-person hearing?

  • #2
    It seems this handbook describes the appeal process in complete detail.

    It seems to say you can request an in person hearing but if you object to the
    phone hearing, it can delay the date of the hearing. Also, the person requesting
    the in person hearing, has to travel to the hearing location nearest the other party.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


    • #3
      Location is in my favor

      The employer is headquartered in Nashville, TN. I live in Georgia, 15 minutes from the state line, and 5 minutes from the last DOL before crossing the line. In Chattanooga, the employer has a district office with one office employee (the district manager). This office is 5 minutes from the GADOL. The district manager once told me that it cost the company a minimum of $500 for each day he isn't in a store. I'm betting it isn't cost effective for them to show up or send him.
      I've already taken a job with another competitor of theirs and was only unemployed for 4 weeks. It's about $900.00 total. Should I leak that information to encourage them to be a no show? Not the amount, but the fact that I'm employed.
      They have wrongfully terminated other employees who did not appeal because they were too intimidated by the process. I don't intimidate, which is the main reason I was fired. If necessary, I will have a former employee as a witness.
      My dm kept saying I was "ruffling feathers at headquarters," although they supposedly had an "open door policy." My complaints were about unpaid time doing homework and mileage rates that resulted in less than minimum wage while traveling. When I started refusing to drive because it wasn't cost effective to put the wear and tear on my car for $0.02 a mile pay, things changed.
      Within 2 weeks, I was fired for "conflict on interest: accepting gifts." What I was doing was buying discontinued merchandise from the client before they tossed perfectly good stuff in the dumpster. This company is responsible for millions in unnecessary waste; tossing charcoal, laundry detergent, motor oil, novelty, and other stuff. I couldn't stand it! Not only from an environmental stand point, but the pure stupidity of it. So, I started offering them $10 or $20 for the stuff they were throwing away. I had been doing this for several months.
      I'm an auditor. If a company has a good audit, they will toss their discontinued stuff. If it's a bad audit, they keep it in their stock room and it remains a part of their inventory. My employer accused me of fixing audits in order to get discounted merchandise. I had not kept this a secret, because I never considered it being wrong. Fixing an audit is not in my mentality. My reputation with the client is impeccable.
      It is in the handbook. I never bothered to read the handbook until I was fired. I've been doing this 15 years. Even when I had the mileage dispute, I only looked up the mileage page. I still didn't look at anything else in it.
      If needed, I can bring in a witness to prove we are required to sign a waiver saying we "read" the handbook and that we are told it really means they "gave us a handbook to read." I was not given a handbook when I was hired because they were out, and I don't have a witness for that, because the HR person says she doesn't remember because she does so many interviews. We were the only two people in the room and she had just run out before I got there and I was the last interviewee.
      I received the revised handbook this past February. Sure, it's my mistake for not reading it or not thinking my purchases might be viewed in the wrong way. But, I shouldn't have been fired. I should have been warned.
      But, bottom line, it's the timing...two weeks after I started refusing to drive; two weeks after I casually mentioned class action law suits for the things they were doing, that their competitor had gone through while I was employed there. Coincidence? I don't think so.
      How much of this comes up in the appeal will depend on what they say in the appeals kit. Hopefully, only the handbook issue. If necessary I'll be a whistleblower. But, should any of this be mentioned in the appeal request?


      • #4
        Just as an FYI, you haven't listed anything so far (at least, not that I saw in that hard to read block of text) that actually qualifies as a wrongful termination. It takes more than being approved for UI to make a termination illegal; nor does "wrongful termination mean being fired for something you didn't do - there has to be an actual law that was violated by terming the employee to meet that definition. The vast majority of people collected UI were legally termed.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


        • #5
          Why do you want an in-person hearing? There is nothing different about the process except you are in location rather than on the phone. You still have to have all the paperwork there in advance and the process is the same.

          There is really no advantage to an inperson hearing. You will get your hour, and if it takes over an hour, you will have to come back again in person. At least on the phone, if it goes over an hour, you just reschedule the call for another day.
          I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
          Thomas Jefferson


          • #6
            I guess the OP wants an in person hearing due to the reasons listed in post #1.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


            • #7
              Information is fascinating and useful

              So, it wouldn't be a wrongful termination, but more of an unethical termination. I'm not going after that, anyway. But, from what I'm hearing, this is an area I should avoid, if possible. It has nothing to do with it, really.
              The actual wording on the Claims Examiner's Determination is, "...LEGAL BASIS FOR were fired...for not following your employer's rules...REASONING...Your employer fired you for violating rules when you violated their conflict of interest policy by taking a novelty tote from a store you were completing an audit on. The facts show you were made aware of your employer's requirements and did not follow them. Therefore, you cannot be paid unemployment benefits.:"
              In the phone interview she kept talking about the handbook and whether I knew the policy. I told her I had not read the handbook. She said I had signed saying I had. So, it seems to me the issue is going to be reading the handbook.
              As for the in-person...I have TMJ which causes a constant ringing of the ears. I avoid phone conversations. If I need to talk to someone, I will travel to them rather than call. I don't read lips, but I can hear more clearly if I am facing the person. I think it has to do with the phone being up to my ear. Then again, I can't use a speaker phone, either. It's like having a radio turned up so loud that you can't understand, but it's not loud. Should I explain this to them in my appeal letter?
              And, I really appreciate the responses and information. It is extremely helpful to hear opinions and thoughts on the subject.


              • #8
                So, it seems to me the issue is going to be reading the handbook.
                Not really, because whether or not you actually read the handbook; you should have. They provided it to you and you signed a paper saying that you read it. It's your own fault for not reading it.

                On the letter explaining your appeal rights there should be a phone number for the deputy clerks office. They may be able to best assist you in getting an accommodation for the appeal.


                • #9
                  Appeal Request

                  I dropped of my request to the DOL today. It was 4 sentences long. 1. Disagree and request, 2. Prefer in-person, 3. concern hearing affected examiner's decision, 4. thanks for consideration. Short and sweet. Now, I'm in wait mode until the kit arrives.

                  I have a witness that also signed the paper when hired without reading the handbook. I could get several, since it is standard parctice to make new applicants sign the paper, but the appeal instructions says I can only have one witness per issue. It's not much, but since I can't bring in the emails to prove they where looking for a reason to fire me, it's probably the best I've got.

                  My main objection is that I should have been warned not fired. If they didn't want to have me in this clients store, they could have put me in another clients store. It's an audit company. They audit for hundreds of different companies.

                  I have 100's of "Good Job" emails, but those won't be admissable because it's not about my performance. It's about me not knowing I was doing something wrong and them not saying, "Hey! Stop it!"

                  But, we really won't know what issues will be up for discussion until the kit gets here, so I'll let you know when it arrives.


                  • #10
                    Frankly, I don't see that it matters how many people signed the handbook without reading it. The fact of the matter is, you signed a page that said you had read and understood the policies. If you didn't actually do so, that's not the company's fault.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


                    • #11
                      Having signed the form also shows you knew there was a handbook that you could refer to. The fact that you didn't is not the company's fault.

                      Are you sure what the form said? Mine says the employee received the handbook and understands they are held to the standards in the handbook.

                      Whether you think it deserved only a warning doesn't really matter. The company will have to proof they considered it gross misconduct which is the standard for denying unemployment.


                      • #12
                        Waiting for a date

                        Just thought I'd give you an update. I'm in wait mode. Got copies of the stuff my employer sent to dol. Transcript of phone interview for original claim reads, "Called. Spoke to clmt. (read ff) I did take the novelty tote and I didn't have any idea I was doing something I wasn't supposed to
                        Add'l facts: I would never tell someone that if they audit came out good to give me"
                        I called and asked for the full transcript and they said this was it. Talk about being out of context... First of all, I never said "I did take." I said "I was purchasing and I do have receipts." There should have been a lot more ...'s. This was a 15 minute conversation and she broke it down into 2 sentences.

                        A copy of my separation notice reads, "Violation of company policy not reporting & participation of conflict of interest behavior."

                        There is an incident log which reads, "took merchandise from a Pantry store that they were going to throw away and she put it in her vehicle." I take issue with the term "took."

                        There is a copy of the Employee Acknowledgement Form. This is the one everything is based on. I did sign it. It's dated 12-3-9. That's not my employment date. It's 4 months later. I looked up this date and found that there was a meeting at the office that day. I can prove I was not there. I was in the building, but not in the meeting. I had been having computer problems and I was in another room on the phone with our IT guy, trying to fix it. I pretty much missed this whole "no drugs" meeting. At the end, the DM handed me a stack of papers to sign and I signed them. I did ask what I was signing and he said it was I won't do drugs stuff. I just signed without thinking.

                        I have a witness that will say I was not at this meeting and handbooks were not given out at the meeting, because Headquarters had neglected to send them. Everyone signed this form without receiving handbooks.

                        This form reads, "...handbook is not a contract of employment...acknowledge I have received the handbook, and I understand it is my responsibility to read and comply..."

                        There is note from the store in question. It's mostly a blatten lie. She lied at the time and she lied in the note. It reads, "On 1-4-11 when the auditor came in she was telling me and my assistant that she had been to several stores and had been purchasing the items like novelty, and such for 10 dollars a tote. She then asked me if we had old tobacco. I said yes. She said that if your audit comes back good then you can throw them away. She went on to say that she had been taking the tobacco to her daughter who lives in boone heights the expired tobacco so that she could sell them to the people there. After she finished with my audit she asked what we were to do and my supervisor said that we would throw it away. She pulled it out of the backroom and carried it to her car and my other assistant went out to her car to retrieve it."

                        My side. When I was counting, I came across the novelty tote and told her I'd been buying them for about ten cents on the dollar or approximately $10.00 a tote. I told her if she decided to toss it, I'd buy it from her. Later, I was counting a tobacco tote and commented that I'd counted that exact tote at least 5 times (that translates into over a year) and she should consider tossing it if the audit was good. When the audit was over, I asked her about the novelty tote. She sold it to me for $20.00. The district manage saw me put it in my car and questioned the manager, who denied it. I didn't know she claimed it to be the tobacco tote instead of the novelty tote until I was fired.

                        There is a letter from the dm to my employer which reads, "during the audit at this store them anager puled an old tote of tobacco product from a closet to be counted. (Lie. we pull totes. he wasn't even there at the time.) I asked the manager how long this product has been there and she was unclear. I stated that if the audit comes out to be descent we could probably discard this product. (Lie. I told him he could discard it when the audit was over and the tobacco was the high point. It wasn't his idea.) At the end of the audit BJ Sherlin presented me with figures that showed the audit over around four grand. We then reviewd the map, completed 3 recounts and the same results were present. (Lie. We didn't recount. He liked the numbers as they were.) I then made the decision to take the count of the old tobacco tote off of the audit to be discarded. BJ then walked out of the office and grabbed the tote of tobacco and placed the tote in her car without any prior approval. (Lie. I was done packing up. I got the novelty tote which was a done deal and had been sitting in front of the closet, and I took it to my car and came back in for my equipment.) I called for BJ to verify invoices accounted for on the audit coreectly and that is when I discovered her carrying the product out to her car. (Lie. He didn't "call" me for anything. He was in the office watching on the camera as I carried the stuff out. I wasn't hiding it. I knew he was watching. I figured the manager told him about the tote.) I explained to her the conflict of interest of her intentions and had my asswistant retrieve the entire product from her car immediately. (True. That was the first I had considered the conflict of interest thing and he did have the assistant go to my car and carry the tote back in.)"
                        I told him I had purchased the tote and that I'd never considered it a conflict of interest but I could see his point. The manager denied selling me the tote, so I got my equipment and left. The word "tobacco" never came up. The dm never opened the tote and looked inside. I find it hard to believe the manager got away with saying it was a tobacco tote and no one ever opened it. I guess the $2000.00 novelty tote when home with her that evening.

                        It has the employer's information on discarge which reads, "...reason...employee violated company conflicts of interest policy...detail the effect...our customer considers this dishonest. She would not be allowed to count this customer any longer. The customer expected SRIS to take care of the problem...explain policy...conflicts of interest policy states that employees not take gifts, request favors, or conduct any business for personal gain...dates of warning...There was no previous warning. This was the first we knew of her taking anything from a customer's store. This was taking something without permission let alone violating co. policy of accepting anything for personal gain or doing business with customer for personal gain."
                        Again, I object to the term "taking."

                        There is a copy of the request for appeal that I sent.
                        And, instructions.

                        I called to get an in-person hearing.

                        Now, I'm waiting for a date.

                        I plan to have two witnesses. The one who will say we didn't get handbooks at the meeting and a dm from Pantry that I was purchasing totes from in all her stores and she never thought of it as a conflict of interest.